Rapana venosa is a large, 9-16 cm shell length, species with a heavy, strongly sculptured shell. Specimens up to 17.5 cm have been recorded in the Black Sea (Micu et al., 2008). The spire is relatively short, less than half the height of the aperture. Colour varies from dark to light brown, often with darker spiral lines. Specimens collected on sandy bottoms tend to be more lightly coloured than specimens from rocky habitats.